Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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Post Tag: Plants

Have a sloping garden?  Tiers can stop the tears (sorry – couldn’t help myself)
Steep slopes in the garden are problematic at best.  Ever try and plant, prune, or deadhead on a steep hill?  NOT fun. I should know.  I've spent the past 2 years working in my new garden , trying to tame a pretty slope that has caused me to shed a tear or two in frustration. And you can imagine what it looks like after a pouring rain, right?  A big, muddy mess at the bottom of the hill. That’s where [read more]
The Sacramento Historic Cemetery’s Native, Perennial, & Rose Gardens
I can't believe it, but I'm coming up on the 2nd year anniversary since moving up north to Granite Bay from the Bay Area.  During the past two years, I've been having so much fun touring lots of public and private gardens in the area. It seems like a lot of my favorite gardens are linked with historical sites, which is no surprise since I live in the middle of gold rush country. The 30-acre Sacramento Historic Cemetery is one [read more]
Takeaways from the Northwest Flower & Garden Show
I recently returned from a fantastic whirlwind week in Seattle, where my mother and I attended the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. In between my presentations, including a riveting 'Container Wars' challenge (yes, that's me showing off my blue ribbon!!) I had plenty of time to wander through this year’s display gardens, the theme being ‘Gardens of the World’. I wanted to share with you three display gardens that felt were particularly stunning this year and takeaway ideas that [read more]
Design your Garden Toolkit – a review, a story, and a giveaway
  Recently my good friend, Michelle Gervais (who was also the former garden editor of Fine Gardening magazine for many, many years) asked me to take a look at her new book ‘Design your Garden Toolkit.’ I jumped at the chance, knowing that her years of knowledge and down-to-earth approach would make for a fantastic book. But it’s so much more. Michelle makes learning about the fundamentals of garden design easy to comprehend (perfect for new gardeners out there). [read more]
Drought Tolerant Superstars for the summer garden
I’m finally able to catch my breath after my big move, and now that the suffocating summer heat has passed and I can think and write clearly again!   It’s been a hot, hot summer with temperatures averaging in the 100’s for weeks on end (definitely not the norm, locals assure me, as they see me slowly begin to lose my mind.) And while some of the plants that I hauled all the way up here have melted away [read more]
Saying goodbye to my garden
One of the smartest things I’ve ever done is to give myself a long, long time to say goodbye to my garden.  In just a few weeks I’ll be leaving it forever, and I can honestly say that my heart is at peace. I’ve given myself plenty of time to sit still and absorb as much as I can, filling my memory bank to the point of overflowing. I’ve given myself time to cry and mourn [read more]
Kubota Garden – lessons in form and shape
One of the many reasons why I love visiting public gardens is that each one tells a unique story:  why it was created, who was the driving force, the inspiration behind it, etc. Seattle’s Kubota Garden is no exception. Located in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood, it’s somewhat of a surprise to find this secret gem nestled among its residential neighbors. Immediately I was intrigued. In the garden is a memorial stone dedicated to the creator [read more]
Drought Tolerant Superstars for the Winter Garden – Part II
The other day someone asked me if I thought California's Governor would declare that we are no longer in a drought.  And if so, would I continue to focus on creating low-water gardens. While I’m rejoicing with all the rain that we've had, the question caught me by surprise. Of course, I’m going to continue with my low-water designs! For me, gardening with the drought in mind is a way of life. The fact remains that we live [read more]
Drought tolerant superstars for the winter garden
I’m excited to share with you the second installment of my drought-tolerant seasonal superstars. Winter is the time when I tend to receive the most emails from past clients, who are surprised and delighted with how their gardens look during this typically bleak time of year. Even though our Bay Area winters are mild compared to the rest of the country, we do get consistent temperatures that dip into the mid-twenties, along with bouts of heavy frost. Luckily, many  [read more]
My Top 10 Favorite Black Plants
One of my all-time favorite colors to use in the garden is black.  While it can be tricky to find plants that have true black foliage (most are closer to maroon or deep purple), here are some of my favorites that come pretty close. And just in time for Halloween, too! (more…) [read more]